Posted by Julia Wasson

Aug 5, 2014 3:22:00 PM

Students should look upon summer as a time to take a break and have some uninterrupted fun. Although summer vacation is winding down in some parts of the country, there’s still time to take advantage of this break from school to get a head start on college test prep.

While your student may see the prospect of test prep as a major summer bummer, it’s going to help alleviate a lot of stress and anxiety when college entrance exams do approach.

The following five benefits of summer college test prep illustrate how and why getting a head start is incredibly helpful for your child:

1. Students have free time and fewer scheduled activities in the summer.

Would your child rather prepare for his college entrance exams when he has some free time, or when he is stressed out with his school-year workload? Summertime test prep ensures he is able to focus without the distraction of schoolwork.

2. Summer test prep keeps the mind sharp to maintain subject knowledge.

Studies show that students lose subject knowledge during summer break. Even though your child may be mentally tired when the school year ends, that is when she is at her sharpest with the subject matter she has learned. ACT or PSAT/SAT test prep over the summer helps your child maintain the fundamentals of math, reading and writing skills.

3. Pre-emptive test prep prepares your child for upcoming challenges with the college admissions process.

With summertime college test prep, your student is in the right frame of mind for the coming school year’s challenges. When the time comes to take college entrance exams, fill out college admissions applications or apply for financial aid, these steps in the process won’t seem as daunting.

4. Learning over time is superior to cram sessions right before college entrance exams.

Cramming for college entrance exams creates anxiety and generally works against a test taker. When your child begins college test prep in the summer, this helps to cement his strategies and skills while developing confidence at a comfortable pace.

5. Setting a test prep schedule gives structure to your student’s summer.

Help your child make the most of her summer. Plan for your child to attend a strategy webinar or take a practice ACT, PSAT, or SAT test. Work with her to set a practice schedule that doesn’t seem overwhelming. A half hour of practice every morning won’t seem too daunting, but those minutes will add up in improved skills.

No matter how intelligent they are, most students struggle with preparing for college admissions, simply because their school year doesn’t allow for them to devote enough time or energy to the process.

With summer college test prep, schoolwork and extracurricular activities aren’t competing with the development of your child’s PSAT/SAT or ACT test-taking skills and strategies. And, because added points can make a big difference in the competition for scholarship dollars and admissions decisions, there’s plenty of incentive to make the best possible use of summertime study sessions.

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